Austintown taxpayers already stretched enough
Once again, the Austintown Board of Education does not know the meaning of fiscal responsibility. They want the citizens of Austintown to put themselves in a multi-million dollar debt for 30 years when the economic outlook is not good. We are in a recession -- which could possibly go to a depression. Plus the fact that the state income tax is going up, car insurance is going up, the price of food is going up.
In a short time, the police will want a raise. There won't be the money for one. So the trustees will put an issue on the ballot. Then the firemen will want a raise again. No money and an issue on the ballot.
The road department will want more money. So there goes another issue on the ballot. They already have three renewals. Now, why not one more? You can bet before this school building bond is paid off the board will want another one for some other pet project of theirs.
And who pays for all of these items? The property owners. It will never stop. And what about the property owners who are retired and living on a fixed income? They will lose everything. You people in your 40s and 50s, think this won't bother you? Remember -- you will be retired before this debt is paid off. Will you have enough money to keep paying this off?
If this is not bad enough, the board, in its wisdom, has moved sports from the Steel Valley Conference which is close by to one that is 45 miles away. The added expense and wear and tear on buses transporting students and the band will be much more than staying in the Steel Valley Conference. And last but not least the board wants a pay raise from $85 a meeting to $125. The best thing this board can do is resign in mass and let the people of Austintown elect a new board that uses common sense. There is no way I will support this bond issue at this time. And I hope the rest of the citizens feel the same way.
ROBERT E. O'MARA
Clean coal technology is answer to energy needs
The instability of America's energy prices are of great concern to seniors in Ohio, many of who live on low or fixed incomes. That's why I was particularly interested to read a new study from Penn State University that focuses on one energy resource that is plentiful here in Ohio -- coal.
Because coal provides nearly 90 percent of the state's electricity, Ohio consumers pay less for this reliable electricity resource. Now, the results of the study from Penn State University indicate that low-cost electricity generated using coal benefits Ohio's economy as well.
The study shows access to affordable electricity generated using coal means jobs and spending -- both of which keep consumer prices low and allow my dollar to go further. According to the study, electricity from coal will be responsible for as much $16.2 billion in increased household income and 465,000 jobs in the year 2010.
That's especially important when you consider that low- and fixed-income households are disproportionately impacted by an increase in their energy bills. And electricity bills would go up if environmental regulations aimed at reducing the use of American coal are enacted, forcing some seniors to have to choose between paying for electricity or other necessities.
Ohioans don't have to choose between affordable, reliable electricity and a clean environment. Thanks to an abundance of coal and the technology to use it cleanly, we can have both.